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Outstanding boutique ships and itineraries combining land and river journeys make South-East Asia a delight. Teresa Ooi reports.

For years Myanmar remained a mystery as its borders were shut to Western visitors. Today, it has blossomed into the hottest destination for river cruises in Asia.

Temples, pagodas and stupas pepper the landscape. In Bagan alone, there are more than 2000 stupas.

The mighty Mekong, Irrawaddy and Chindwin, flow through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and China, and they’ve never been so popular.

Boutique operator Haimark Travel’s 28-suite, three-deck Irrawaddy Explorer plies the Irrawaddy in Myanmar.

Inspired by the country’s rich British colonial era, the Irrawaddy Explorer was designed to embrace the past with the modern and elegant conveniences of a boutique hotel. All suites have private French balconies and exotic-sounding names, such as Mandalay, Kipling, Orwell and Maugham, and vary in size from 26 to 38sq m.

The country’s history is drawn on to produce local dishes reflecting the diverse cuisine of Myanmar.

A luxury spa on board offers regional and western treatments and massages. With 33 crew members and just 56 passengers, guests are assured attentive service.


For more information visit: insiderjourneys.com.au